Developed by Blazing Badger and published by Mamor Games, AIPD (Artificial Intelligence Police Department) is a twin stick shooter, in which you “fight evil artificial intelligences” using a host of different weapons and modifications. With “a visual style that is an homage to 80s neon art styles, pioneered by games like Minestorm on the Vectrex console system or feature films like TRON.”
In AIPD you have to progress through multiple levels consisting of waves of enemies with a boss fight taking place at the end. sounds simple enough, but as you complete each level you have to choose one of two ‘challenges’ that add an extra element to the gameplay as you progress through the game. Making it all the more difficult the further you get. You will die a few times to begin with, as you start out with a basic ship that has Gatling guns and the Allrounder modification. As you play you will rack up an overall score which will progressively unlock more weapons and modifications for you to choose from. This in turn will make the game just that little bit more manageable.
Scoring in AIPD is all about the multipliers, so be on the lookout for the small triangles dropped by enemies and pick them up. Multipliers are also gained by choosing the challenges between levels, with the more dangerous ones shelling out a higher multiplier. There is also a host of pick-ups in game, these vary from giving your ship shields to slowing down time, and super weapons that give your ship a limited amount of secondary fire that does some decent damage, from the Super Shockgun to the Super Bomb. All of which can be carried on into the next level, so use them wisely.
There are four game modes to play Standard, Tough Transporters, Hostile Space and High-tech Armada. with Standard being what it says on the tin, with the other three modes being geared towards more specific challenges. Tough Transporters has fully upgraded transporter enemies from the start, Hostile Space has all environmental dangers from the start and High-tech Armada has all enemies fully upgraded from the start. You also get three save slots in which you can create your own ‘Design’ of gameplay. So if you want to have all challenges on the go at once from the start, knock yourself out.
AIPD also includes support for up to four players local co-op, which is great fun competing for the best score with all out mayhem on screen. Although it is a shame it cannot be played over Xbox Live, but such is the way with some indie games. Visually it is impressive, I love the retro look and feel of the game, all nicely polished with up to date graphics. The way in which the ships health and overheat meters are implemented to float around the ship, and the super weapon ammo count is displayed on the ship itself is a really well implemented form of HUD that lets you focus on what you are doing, rather than having to look in one of the four corners of your screen to see how much health etc you have.
You wont find yourself playing AIPD for hours at a time, but you can guarantee you will find yourself having “a quick go” from time to time to see if you can better your score on the leaderboard. And that is what playing AIPD is all about, and in true form to what the developers have tried to achieve with it. So kudos to Blazing Badger for that.
See the game in action in our preview video.